Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation


Travel to Iraq with Untamed Borders!

The trip begins in Baghdad and visits ancient Sumerian and Babylonian sites, as well as medieval souks, UNESCO-recognised minarets, Shia Islam’s two holiest sites, and a boat trip on the Shatt al-Arab.

Combine with our Kurdistan itinerary, available directly after this trip.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation.

A 9-day trip into the heartland of Iraq. Travelling the region bounded by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, from the capital Baghdad to Basra on the Gulf coast. Tracing back through history, we will travel to the home of some of the first civilisations, visiting the ancient Sumerian sites of Ur, ancient Babylon and the riches held at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. We will see the legacy of Iraq’s place as the centre of Islamic world through a visit to Samarra, a UNESCO world heritage site, with its iconic spiral minaret. We will explore modern Iraq by mingling with the pilgrims in Karbala and Najaf, the two holy places of Shia Islam as well as visiting some of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces. Finally, we will explore Iraq’s marshlands on a boat trip to the point where the two great rivers of antiquity join to create the Shatt Al Arab waterway.


  • Climb the Minaret at Samarra
  • Visit the Baghdad museum
  • Explore Babylon
  • Join pilgrims at the two Holy places of Shi’i Islam; Najaf and Karbala

Start Point: Baghdad, Iraq
End Point: Basra, Iraq

Want to see more of Iraq? Combine your trips and join our Kurdistan departure, available directly after this trip.
If you are travelling in March, don’t miss out on the Kurdish Newroz festival!

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All accommodation – 8 nights
  • Breakfast
  • All ground transports
  • International Guide
  • Local guide/driver
  • Entrance fees
  • Internal flight between Basra and Erbil (if also joining our Kurdistan trip)
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Visa cost
  • Insurance
  • International flights
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  1. Day 1 Baghdad

    Arrive in Baghdad.
    We suggest people arrive on an early morning flight.
    Transfer to Hotel for briefing.
    If there is time, we will visit some places of interest in the capital.

    Overnight in Hotel in Baghdad

  2. Day 2 Baghdad – Samarra – Baghdad

    Day trip to Samarra to visit the archaeological site, a UNESCO world heritage site and former Abbasid capital. This includes the 8th century great mosque and the iconic spiral minaret.

    Return to Baghdad.
    Overnight in Hotel in Baghdad

  3. Day 3 Baghdad

    A full day in the Iraqi capital.
    We will visit the Iraq Museum and the Al-Shaheed monument as well as spending time in the old city and Mutanabbi Street.

    Overnight in Hotel in Baghdad

  4. Day 4 Baghdad – Babylon – Karbala

    Travel from Baghdad to Karbala.
    En route visit the remains of the city of Babylon, now heavily reconstructed. At Babylon we will also visit an old palace of Saddam’s.
    Once in Karbala we can visit the shrine of Imam Hussein.

    Overnight in Hotel in Karbala

  5. Day 5 Karbala – Najaf

    A morning visit to Al Khifal and its’ ancient souk before driving to Najaf. You will be able to witness some of the holiest places in Shia Islam including the Shrine of Ali in Najaf.

    Overnight in Hotel in Najaf

  6. Day 6 Najaf – Nasiriyah

    Drive from Najaf to Nasiriyah
    Visit the remains of the ancient cities of Uruk and Ur.

    Overnight in Hotel in Nasiriyah

  7. Day 7 Nasiriyah – Basra

    A day experiencing life in the marshes of Iraq. We will take small boats through the marshes seeing water buffalo and traditional reed houses. We will also visit Al Qurna to see the point where the Tigris and Euphrates meet to form the Shatt al Arab waterway.
    Finally travel to Basra

    Overnight in Hotel in Basra

  8. Day 8 Basra

    A full day in and around Basra including seeing the traditional merchant houses of the city, plus a boat ride with views of one of Saddam’s old palaces.

    Overnight in Hotel in Basra

  9. Day 9 Basra - End

    Transfer to airport in Basra.
    End of trip.

    If you are joining our Kurdistan Add-On trip, a flight between Basra and Erbil is included.


We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.

The accommodation will be based on 2 people sharing a twin room.
Optional single supplement is available for an additional cost. 

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
Included in the price:
  • All accommodation – 8 nights
  • Breakfast
  • All ground transport
  • International guide
  • Local guide/driver
  • Entrance fees
Not included in the price:
  • Visa cost
  • Insurance
  • International flights to and from Iraq
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Drinks
  • Tips

We do not directly arrange international flights to Iraq. We can suggest routes and operators.

Iraq visa is required for Southern Iraq. The process has recently changed and now 36 nationalities can get visa on arrival. Contact us for more details.

We provide breakfast. The guide will assist in finding good lunch and dinner options.

When we choose our vehicles and drivers we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of journey and the competence of the man behind the wheel. Your comfort and enjoyment of the journey is the first priority.

You will be accompanied by an international guide from Untamed Borders along with a local English speaking guide/fixer for the length of the trip.

Trips to Iraq do create dangers of their own and whilst we want you to have as much freedom as possible we must state that the guide has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas which we consider to be relatively stable things can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.

Overall Rating


PackageConfirmed DatesTrip StatusCurrent StatusPricein Twin Occupancy
Available to Book
3750 $
Available to Book
3750 $
Available to Book
3750 $